How to remove the background of an image: Magic Wand

There are different methods to remove the background of an image, in each tutorial we will work from the simplest to the most complicated

In this first tutorial we’ll use the Magic wand

This method is functional if we have a uniform background and the figure does not contain complicated edges.

In this example we will use the image of a pelican against a blue background (the sky).

1. Duplicate the background layer for a new place to work and to have a backup of the original image.

2. We click the eye of the background layer to hide it

3. Select the magic wand and select a 32 in tolerance. This range may be increased or reduced depending on the different range of background colors. A greater variation increases the number, a less variation like a white background decreases.

4. Having selected the magic wand we give a click on the sky.

5. In this particular case select the entire background was selected in one click

6. If our tolerance was lower for example 15 and only we only select a portion of the sky, we may add sections to the mask by pressing shift while clicking on wherever we have no selection, so new parts are added to the mask.

7. To refine the edges we will do two things: a) top menu: select / modify / feather and give 5 pixels. b) Expanding the selection of the background so we don’t have a blue border, on the top menu: select / modify / expand this time 1 pixel.

8. Now we’ll just delete and remove the selection.

9. Now we can use any other image for the background, in this particular case I substituted the sky with a different picture that stands out more.

In the next tutorial we’ll see how to remove a background using the lasso.

If you have suggestions that could improve this tutorial we expect your comment.

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Monday, February 22nd, 2010 Tutorials

About The Author

Javier Cantero

I'm a graphic/web designer, entrepreneur and the founder of Designer Freelance. I hope we can share lots of information and ideas. You can follow me on Twitter @designerfree

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2 Comments to How to remove the background of an image: Magic Wand

  1. Remove the background of a complex image (extracting hair) | Designer Freelance on March 26th, 2010
  2. Do you have copy writer for so good articles? If so please give me contacts, because this really rocks! :)

  3. khuong on April 11th, 2010




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